Yes, I did it. I completed the bracket. If you want to understand the entire process, please make sure you read the previous post.
PLACING 2’S AND 3’S
You really do not have to worry too much about conflicts, but there are some at times. The first thing I actually noticed were the limited options for Florida to host schools and how this played in with Georgia. With Georgia Tech only being able to drive to Georgia, that leaves Central Florida for Florida, since they’ve hosted South Florida recently. Also Columbia can only drive to Virginia and even though they were there last year, they are getting sent there again. You have to maximize the driving trips and that really is the only option without losing a line.
As you search for possible GREEN, you check the options then hide the completed rows and columns so that everything is easier to read. You also need to flip between the 2’s and 3’s to make sure you don’t have any conference conflicts.
The next thing you know, you only have the a few remaining. You try to avoid complete across the country flights and when people do have long flights, keep them near major airports. When you can, you try to put the seeds in the right place (or close).
legend (RED = in Conference, GREEN = within 400 miles, PURPLE = been sent there within last two years, AQUA = BINGO!)
THE COMPLETED MATRICES
Complete Proposed 1’s and 2’s travel matrix
Complete Proposed 1’s and 3’s travel matrix
Complete Proposed 1’s and 4’s travel matrix
THE FINAL PODS
Wake Forest – Mississippi, Texas Tech, South Carolina State
Ohio State – Tulane, Louisville, Eastern Kentucky
Virginia – Columbia, Richmond, St. Francis
Baylor – South Florida, Rice, Marist
Oklahoma State – Oregon, Drake, Northern Arizona
Southern California – Minnesota, Portland, Denver
UCLA – Illinois, Utah State, New Mexico State
Texas – Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Lamar
TCU – Cornell, Washington, James Madison
Texas A&M – Oklahoma, SMU, East Tennessee State
Georgia – Georgia Tech, North Florida, Presbyterian
California – Northwestern, Memphis, Butler
North Carolina – South Carolina, Georgia State, Navy
Michigan – Kentucky, Notre Dame, Buffalo
Stanford – Mississippi State, Cal Poly, Valparaiso
Florida – Central Florida, Florida State, Alabama State
A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS
Oklahoma heading to College Station is pretty much a given if the Sooners cannot win at least one match (and I think they need maybe two to guarantee hosting) down the stretch. They get Andrew Harris back and play Oklahoma State at home in 10 days. They also get to host the Big 12 Championships. My guess is they will get Baylor or Texas in the first round. If they beat OSU, they would tentatively move into the top-14. Of course that means that nobody else in that range gets another key win. Two wins and they are almost assured to host a pod.
other pods of interest that should bring some fan support will be Georgia Tech at Georgia, Mississippi State at Stanford, Oregon at Oklahoma State (could be tight), Illinois at UCLA, Kentucky at Michigan and the whole Florida pod